A building on the old Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys property now known as Endeavor has been leased to the North Florida Long Term Recovery Group. Jackson County Commissioners made the decision Tuesday. The lease of Pierce Hall makes it possible for LTR to seek grants for the structure’s improvement.

The one-story building, constructed in 1960, is located on the south campus and includes roughly 10,916 square feet. It was used to support multiple functions during its lifespan as a Dozier component, including initial intake and assignment, general instruction, temporary holding, and staff training.

It consists of office spaces, conference/lobby rooms, restrooms, showers, mechanical rooms, closets/storage areas, a safe, and jail cells.

The old Dozier lands, now known as Endeavor as the property is repurposed, is undergoing a comprehensive transformation into an economic hub for Jackson County and the region.

Pierce Hall needs roof work and other minor fix-ups, and while LTR has no plans to immediately occupy the space for use as headquarters, it can use the space for storage until it is in good enough shape to warrant a certificate of occupancy if LTR ultimately decides to use it for meetings or other purposes with people inside the structure.

In order to get the building to that point, LTR will be seeking grants or other types of assistance. The lease will be a no-fee arrangement since the non-profit’s sole mission is to help the community recover from Hurricane Michael.

Without the lease, LTR would have trouble getting that kind of help because grant and allocation programs usually require the requesting entity to have some controlling relationship to a property for which assistance is being sought. The initial term of the lease begins June 1 and is for one year, but the agreement provides for automatic subsequent one-year renewals until the arrangement is terminated by the parties. That termination can be achieved via a month’s notice by either party.

LTR will pay any utility costs generated by having power, water, sewer service and garbage collection service provided to the structure while the lease is in effect. LTR will also obtain and pay for the structure’s commercial general liability insurance and comprehensive property casualty insurance. The agreement also includes a “hold harmless” provision that protects the county against liability for injuries to individuals on the property and any damage that occurs to LTR assets.

LTR is not allowed to sublease the property to other parties and must secure permission from the county to erect signs or other additions to the exterior of the property.

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